The Governor-General of the Philippines (Spanish: Gobernador-General de Filipinas; Tagalog: Gobernador-Heneral ng Pilipinas) was the title of the government executive during the colonial period of the Philippines, governed mainly by Spain (1565–1898) and the United States (1898–1946), and briefly by Great Britain (1762–1764) and Japan (1942–1945). They were also the representative of the executive of the ruling power.
On November 15, 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established as a transitional government to prepare the country for independence from the American control. The governor-general was replaced by an elected Filipino "President of the Philippine Commonwealth", as the Chief executive of the Philippines, taking over many of the duties of the Governor-General. The former American Governor-General then became known as the High Commissioner to the Philippines.
From 1565 to 1898, the Philippines was under Spanish rule. From 1565–1821, The governor and captain-general was appointed by the Viceroyalty of New Spain upon recommendation of the Spanish Cortes and governed on behalf of the Monarch of Spain. When there was a vacancy (e.g. death, or during the transitional period between governors), the Royal Audiencia in Manila appoints a temporary governor from among its members.
After 1821, the country was no longer under the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present-day Mexico) and administrative affairs formerly handled by New Spain were transferred to Madrid and placed directly under the Spanish Crown.